Drum Corps International Makes Beautiful Music with Brightcove
From modest beginnings more than three decades ago, Drum Corps International (DCI) has developed into a powerful, nonprofit, global youth activity with far-reaching artistic, educational and organizational influence. DCI entertains millions through its annual DCI Tour and more than 35 World Championships in 17 North American cities, which are now broadcast live on its website.
They’ve made it very simple and easy. Thanks to Brightcove, we are on the cutting edge of online video technology.”
Director of Information Technology, DCI
DCI has a passionate worldwide following. Fans travel hundreds of miles to competitions that take place in stadiums around the country. DCI used to buy time on cable television to showcase its national championship, but that option was becoming increasingly expensive for the nonprofit. What it needed was a video technology platform that would allow it to deliver more performances over the Web, said Ricky Fritzsching, DCI’s director of information technology.
- Repositioned as own media outlet
- Engaged and expanded fan base
- Substantial growth in subscription and e-commerce revenue
Reliable, Scalable, Innovative
Marching to its Own Drum
Drum Corps International’s shows and competitions are legendary. Drum and bugle corps youth teams – all members must be under 22 years of age – travel and compete around the world. The penultimate series of events is the week-long Drum Corps International World Championships held each August in Indianapolis.
When public television dropped coverage of the World Championships, DCI bought time on ESPN2. “But our fans and our customers wanted to see the competitions that occurred before the World Championships,” Fritzsching said. “In a sense, our fans were pushing us to do more with our website.”
With the Brightcove platform, DCI recognized a unique opportunity to package, distribute and monetize its content on its own website. “We are marching music’s major league, and our fans are passionate,” Fritzsching said. “We recognized an opportunity to provide them with content that they couldn’t get from anyone else.”
DCI launched with Brightcove in 2005, initially with an audio-only subscription plan that provided streaming of 400-500 shows for just $19.95 a year. “It was a huge success,” Fritzsching said.
Banging The Drum Loudly
Today, DCI is a full-fledged entertainment broadcast outlet, with live streaming capabilities, video-rich news offerings, and a robust e-commerce platform. The backbone for these capabilities remains the Brightcove platform.
In 2008, DCI launched a more extensive subscription product, the Fan Network. For $59 a year, subscribers get access to live streamed performances; behind the scenes excerpts, and discounted downloads of previously recorded video assets. “It was a huge success right away,” Fritzsching said, with subscription revenue soaring 125 percent in the first year.
DCI also uses video on its home page news feed, which includes news, features and promotions for upcoming competitions. And it’s also using the Brightcove platform to broadcast competitions and performances conducted by affiliated organizations. “It’s becoming a profit center for us,” Fritzsching said.
DCI’s transformation into its own media network would not have been possible without Brightcove’s platform, Fritzsching said.
“They’ve made it very simple and easy,” he said. “Thanks to Brightcove, we are on the cutting edge of online video technology.”